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EMBO J. 2007 Apr 18;26(8):2158-68. Epub 2007 Mar 29.

A permeable cuticle in Arabidopsis leads to a strong resistance to Botrytis cinerea.

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Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.


The plant cuticle composed of cutin, a lipid-derived polyester, and cuticular waxes covers the aerial portions of plants and constitutes a hydrophobic extracellular matrix layer that protects plants against environmental stresses. The botrytis-resistant 1 (bre1) mutant of Arabidopsis reveals that a permeable cuticle does not facilitate the entry of fungal pathogens in general, but surprisingly causes an arrest of invasion by Botrytis. BRE1 was identified to be long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase2 (LACS2) that has previously been shown to be involved in cuticle development and was here found to be essential for cutin biosynthesis. bre1/lacs2 has a five-fold reduction in dicarboxylic acids, the typical monomers of Arabidopsis cutin. Comparison of bre1/lacs2 with the mutants lacerata and hothead revealed that an increased permeability of the cuticle facilitates perception of putative elicitors in potato dextrose broth, leading to the presence of antifungal compound(s) at the surface of Arabidopsis plants that confer resistance to Botrytis and Sclerotinia. Arabidopsis plants with a permeable cuticle have thus an altered perception of their environment and change their physiology accordingly.

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